Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
In this Sunday’s first reading, God appears to Moses in a burning bush, and when Moses asks him for his name, God responds: “I am who am.” We translate this name as Yahweh. God’s revelation of his name to Moses is fascinating for a variety of reasons.
“I am who am,” is not really a name! In revealing his name to Moses, God at the same time shows displeasure at Moses’s request. It is as if God were saying, “I am not like the other false gods of the nations, who have names and titles. I am nothing like them!” God reveals his identity to Moses, and at the same time he mysteriously conceals who he is, because his name is beyond our comprehension. The Jewish people understood this, as they were only permitted to invoke the name Yahweh once a year, on the Day of Atonement. “Thou shall not use the name of God in vain,” is then a commandment reminding us that God infinitely transcends any other creature.
“I am who am,” reveals that God simply “is,” while everything else in existence comes into being and passes out of existence. Unlike everything else, including things that seem ageless, like the sun, God’s nature is simply to exist. He remains permanently and is unchanging. Jesus will later say of himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Yet God doesn’t just exist unconnected from us. He exists in relationship with us and is for us, as he also discloses to Moses that he is “the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” In the New Testament we learn that God’s life is an unending exchange of love, and he gifts that existence to us. The grace of God poured out into our hearts is our participation in the eternal life of God.
This Monday and Tuesday, Fr. Jack Berard will lead us in our Lenten parish mission. Both evenings begin at 6:30pm in the church. I strongly encourage you to make the time for you and your families to join us for the mission. In addition to Fr. Jack’s talks on Lent as a preparation for Easter and Eternal Life, there will be opportunities for confession, Eucharistic adoration, and a healing Mass on Tuesday night.
Thank you to all of you who have responded to the invitation to Live Lent Together, offering your prayers and sacrifices for the conversion and spiritual growth of your fellow parishioners. Know that you can add any special intentions that you would like parishioners to keep in prayer by adding those on the parish website. All of the parishioners who are Living Lent Together will receive those weekly petitions through Flocknote on Fridays.